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Event Information

Introduction

The fourth meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development will be held in Havana from 28 to 31 March 2020.
Participants may collect their credentials from 9 a.m. on Friday 27 March in the accreditation office alongside the Palacio de las Convenciones de la Habana (PALCO) in Havana, on the corner of 11th and 146th streets (Playa district).
The meeting will be open to all Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The purpose of this document is to provide delegates with useful information to facilitate their work at the meeting.
Meeting coordinators will be pleased to answer any questions concerning logistical or organizational matters either before or during the event.

1. GENERAL INFORMATION ON CUBA

1.1. Geographical location
Cuba is one of the northernmost islands that make up the Antilles or West Indies and is located at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico, between the Yucatan and Florida peninsulas. The north and east coasts of the island are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, while the beaches to the south are bordered by the Caribbean Sea. The Cuban archipelago spans 110,922 km2 and comprises the island of Cuba, Isla de la Juventud, and more than 4,500 keys and islets. It is 1,250 km long, 193 km across at its widest point and 32 km across at its narrowest point. It includes almost 5,900 km of coastline and a wide range of lovely beaches, particularly on the north coast.
Most of Cuba is flat, although there are also four major mountain ranges: the Cordillera de Guaniguanico in the west; the Alturas de Trinidad, in the province of Sancti Spíritus, in the centre; and the Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa Massif and the Sierra Maestra, in the eastern region, where the Pico Real del Turquino is located, the highest in the country at 1,974 m above sea level. The most important river is the Cauto, which is 370 km long. The Zapata swamp, which is south-east of Havana, is the largest area of wetland in the Caribbean and one of the largest in the world, owing to strong conservation and protection of its topography, flora and fauna.

1.2. Climate
Cuba has a moderate subtropical climate. The island is located near the Tropic of Cancer, and owing to its long and narrow surface area, is kept cool by trade winds and sea breezes. The annual average temperature is 25°C. January and February are the coolest months, with an average temperature of 22°C, while August is the hottest month, at 28°C on average.
Relative humidity is 81%, and there are two distinct seasons: dry, from November to April, and rainy, from May to October, with average annual rainfall of 1,375 mm.
Havana has a warm tropical climate. In March, the average temperature in the city is around 29°C/84 °F.

1.3. Language
The official language is Spanish.

1.4. Flag 
The Cuban flag includes three blue horizontal stripes representing the three original regions into which the island was divided under the colonial system; it also includes two white horizontal stripes representing the
purity of the Cuban people’s independence ideals, and a red triangle representing liberty, equality and fraternity. The colour red symbolizes the blood spilled during the fight for independence, while the single star is a symbol of unity.
The Cuban flag was first flown in Cárdenas, in May 1850, and was adopted as the national symbol by the Constituent Assembly of the Republic of Cuba in 1869, in Guáimaro, Camagüey.

1.5. Shield
The Cuban coat of arms is a pointed leather shield divided into three sections. At the top there is a golden key in a blue sea between two pieces of land, which symbolizes Cuba’s key position between the Americas.
The sun represents the birth of a new nation. The three blue stripes, separated by two white ones, represent the districts into which Cuba was divided under the colonial system. The royal palm that appears in the bottom right section, amid a Cuban landscape, represents abundant nature and the nobility and quiet strength of the Cuban people. The coat of arms is surrounded by laurel and oak branches, which symbolize victory and strength. At the bottom, the fastened bundle of sticks represents the unity of the Cuban people, and at the top a Phrygian cap of freedom with a single star is a symbol of a single and indivisible nation.

1.6. National anthem
This was composed in 1867 by Pedro Figueredo of Bayamo and sung by the rebel forces when they took the city of Bayamo on 20 October 1868, when the composer added the following verses:
Hasten to battle, men of Bayamo
For the homeland looks proudly to you
Do not fear a glorious death
Because to die for the country is to live.

To live in chains
Is to live in dishonor and ignominy
Hear the clarion call
Hasten, brave ones, to battle!

1.7. National flower
The national flower is the white garland lily, a delicate and sweetly-scented flower similar to jasmine.

1.8. National bird
The Cuban trogon (priotelus temnurus) is a member of the quetzal family, and its feathers are the colours of the Cuban flag: red, blue and white. Like the flag, it symbolizes freedom, as it is unable to live in captivity.

1.9. National tree
Although the royal palm can be found throughout the Caribbean, it is a predominant feature of the Cuban landscape, providing wood and roofing material for rural construction since the early days. Its fruit are used to feed livestock and its leaves are used to preserve agricultural produce. Above all, its resilience in the worst storms has inspired respect and admiration and symbolizes the indomitable nature of the Cuban people.

1.10 Population
Cuba has a total population of 11,209,628. There are 57,652 more women than men, with a ratio of 990 men for every 1,000 women. The urban population represents 77.0% of the total population. Population growth is limited, with the fertility rate below the replacement rate, and with less than one daughter for every woman who gives birth. The infant mortality rate is 4.0 per 1,000 live births. Life expectancy is 78.45 years.

1.11 Havana
Founded on 16 November 1519, this city’s geographical location and safe harbour made it, from early on, a natural bridge for communication and trade between Europe and the New World. Havana’s population is 2,131,480 and its port is the largest in the country. Its modern José Martí International Airport receives more than 3 million visitors per year and the city is the main destination for the large number of tourists visiting the country. Havana is the seat of the central government and its main institutions.

1.12 Useful information for visitors

LOCAL CURRENCY

The Central Bank of Cuba issues Cuban pesos (CUP), which are the national currency, as well as Cuban convertible pesos (CUC). MasterCard, Visa International and CABAL credit cards are accepted providing they are not issued by United States banks or their branches in other countries.

LOCAL TIME

UTC/GMT -5 hours.

ELECTRICITY

110 volts, 60 Hertz. Hotels also have 220-volt outlets.

HEALTH

Medical services will be available at the hotels mentioned in this document, at the Palacio de Convenciones de La Habana and at the José Martí International Airport on delegates’arrival and departure dates.

 

2. MEETING VENUE

The fourth meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development will be held at the Havana convention centre, the Palacio de Convenciones de Habana.

Address: Calle 146, núm. 1104, entre 11 y 17 D
Reparto Cubanacán, municipio Playa
Apartado postal 16046 La Habana (Cuba)

 

3. COORDINATION OF THE MEETING

The fourth meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development is organized by ECLAC and the Government of Cuba, through the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment (MINCEX).
Questions on substantive and logistical matters relating to the meeting may be addressed to the following staff at ECLAC and MINCEX:

CEPAL

Luis Yáñez (questions on substantive matters)

Officer-in-Charge Office of the Secretary of the Commission ECLAC, United Nations, Santiago

Tel: (+56) 2 2210 2275
Email: luis.yanez@un.org

 

María Eugenia Johnson (questions on logistical matters)

Supervisor Conference Services Unit ECLAC,

United Nations Santiago
Tel: (+56) 2 2210 2667

Email: mariaeugenia.johnson@un.org

Ministerio del Comercio Exterior y la Inversión Extranjera (MINCEX)

Carlos Fidel Martín Rodríguez
Director Office in charge of international economic organizations (DOEI)
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment (MINCEX) Havana
Tel: (+53) 7 838 0374
Email: carlosfidel@mincex.gob.cu

Solangel L. Santana Viaña
Specialist Vice-Ministry of Trade Policy
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment (MINCEX) Havana
Tel: (+53) 7 838 0365
Email: solangel.santana@mincex.gob.cu

 

4. HOTEL RESERVATIONS

The Ministry of Tourism is in charge of accommodation for participants in this event. It has secured a group of hotels with excellent locations and experience in catering to participants in events held in Cuba, for which descriptions and prices are as follows:

PRICES / CUBAN CONVERTIBLE PESOS (CUC) / DAY RATES / PER PERSON

HOTEL

DOUBLE ROOM

SINGLE ROOM

MELIÁ HABANA

120,00

165,00

H10 HABANA PANORAMA

90,00

125,00

PALCO

75,00

85,00

 

 

These prices include:

  • Daily accommodation with breakfast
  • Transport between José Martí International Airport and selected hotel
  • Transport to meetings at the Palacio de las Convenciones de la Habana (except in the case of the Hotel Palco)
  • Personalized assistance
  • In the case of the Meliá Habana hotel, Internet access is also included. In the H10 Habana Panorama and Palco hotels, Internet access must be bought separately via a card system.

All prices are per person, per night and for a standard room, and are quoted in Cuban convertible pesos (CUC). Any request for room upgrades or other specific services must be included in the hotel reservation form and will be confirmed upon request by the CUBATUR travel agency.

Reservation requests and payment methods
Rooms confirmed by the CUBATUR travel agency must be prepaid before arrival. Payments to CUBATUR for these services may be made by credit card, bank transfer or in cash.

Hotel reservation requests must be sent to:

  • Agencia de Viajes CUBATUR
    Eventos e Incentivos
    Calle 15, núm. 410, entre F y G, Vedado, La Habana, Cuba
    Teléfono: (+53) 7835 5095
     
  • Gretel Cremé Rodríguez
    Deputy Director of Events and Incentives
    Email: Gretel.creme@central.cbt.tur.cu
     
  • Reinier Robaina
    Commercial specialist
    Email: Reinier.robaina@central.cbt.tur.cu
     

5. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR CUBA

Participants who are citizens of countries with which Cuba maintains a visa waiver agreement are not required to obtain a visa, as long as they travel with the appropriate passport.
Participants requiring visas should contact the nearest Cuban embassy or consulate.

Participants from countries where there are no Cuban diplomatic missions but who require a visa to enter Cuba will be issued with a visa at José Martí International Airport upon arrival. Those participants must send their visa request to the organizing committee at the email address below and will receive confirmation of receipt from the same authority.
Email: visa.forocepal@mincex.gob.cu

In order to obtain a visa card, the following information must be sent to the aforementioned email address:

1. Name(s) and surname(s)

2. Date of birth

3.Place of birth

4. Nacionalidad

5. Passport number

6. Type of passport

7. Place of issue of passport

8. Date of issue of passport

9. Date of expiration of passport
10. Port of embarkation
11. Reason for participation
12. Date and time of arrival and airline

 

Note: the addresses and locations of the Cuban diplomatic and consular missions abroad are available at http://www.cubaminrex.cu/en.

Participants can obtain the necessary visa for Cuba from these missions.

 

Members of the international press interested in covering this event must request a press visa (D-6) from the Cuban embassy or consulate in their country of residence. When applying for the visa, they should provide a list of the professional equipment they will bring with them. The embassy or consulate will collect the visa-processing fee.

Cuban laws require journalists working in the country to obtain accreditation temporarily. The accreditation fee for this event is CUC 60.
Members of the press who are granted visas to cover the event must, upon their arrival in Cuba, go to the International Press Centre (CPI) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to obtain their accreditation.
The CPI is located at the intersection of Calle 23 and Calle O, Vedado, Havana; telephone: (+53) 7 832 0526 / (+53) 7 832 0527 / (+53) 7 832 0528; email: actividadesprensa@cpi.minrex.gob.cu).

Members of the press must ensure that their accreditation is visible at all times at the venues of event activities.
Accredited members of the press and their equipment, bags, suitcases and other personal items that they bring to events will be subject to security checks.

The website of the Ministry of Communications offers comprehensive information regarding the technological equipment that may be brought into Cuba and the procedures to apply for the respective import licence, to avoid any inconvenience at the border:https://www.mincom.gob.cu/.

6. TRANSPORT

José Martí International Airport arrivals/departures.
Participants staying in the aforementioned hotels will be provided with transport::

  • Between José Martí International Airport and their selected hotel.
  •  To meetings at the Palacio de las Convenciones.

7.REGISTRATION

An online registration system will be available on the ECLAC website https://foroalc2030.cepal.org/2020/en.from 10 February 2020.

For civil society representatives and other relevant stakeholders, online registration will close on 15 March 2020.
Once online registration is complete, the accreditation system will send a confirmation letter which participants must present along with their identification documents when they pick up their credentials.

Participants may collect their credentials from 9 a.m. on Friday 27 March in the accreditation office alongside the Palacio de Convenciones de La Habana (PALCO), on the corner of 11th and 146th streets (Playa district). Participants will be issued with an identification badge, which, for security purposes, must be kept visible and shown at all meetings. Participants must collect their badges in person and must present identification for this purpose.

For further information on accreditation, please contact Luis Flores (email:luis.flores@un.org; tel.: (+56) 2 2210 2084) and Paula Warnken (email: paula.warnken@un.org; tel.: (+56) 2 2210 2651).

Participants are advised to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of meetings in order to complete the accreditation process and security protocols.

 

8. INTERNET

The meeting rooms set aside for the conference will have wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi).

 

9. LANGUAGES

The official language of the meeting will be Spanish. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in English
and French..

 

10. DOCUMENTS

As the Conference documents become available, they will be accessible on the website: https://foroalc2030.cepal.org/2020/en

Delegates should note that, in keeping with the principles of environmental sustainability of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in accordance with other intergovernmental decisions adopted by ECLAC and the United Nations, this will be a paperless meeting. Participants will be responsible for downloading the documents from the ECLAC website. ECLAC will provide a mobile app on the meeting website, for downloading and visualizing the meeting documents on participants’ own devices. There will be no document reproduction services at the meeting venue.

 

11. MEDICAL SERVICES

The Government of Cuba will provide first aid services in case emergency medical assistance is required
at the meeting venue. Participants should make the meeting coordinators aware of any medical needs.

 

12. SECURITY

The Government of Cuba will provide a special security service for participants at the meeting venue and in the surrounding area.

 

13. INTERNATIONAL PRESS CENTRE

An international press centre will be made available to facilitate coverage of the fourth meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development. Journalists wishing to cover the meeting must register online beforehand at https://foroalc2030.cepal.org/2020/en and obtain accreditation on Saturday 28 March in the press centre at the Palacio de las Convenciones, from 9 a.m. Questions relating to media coverage of the meeting should be addressed to Guido Camú, Chief of the ECLAC Public Information Unit (email: guido.camu@un.org; tel: (+56) 2 2210 2440).